Sunday, September 11, 2011

~Growing Into a Butterfly~

Have a Wonderful Time with this Unit as I did with my son.

You can evolve this unit in so many different ways ~ below you will find brief examples of some creative  craft ideas.
The Lessons will encourage:  the use of language, mathematics, science, nutrition, and art.

Inquire Some Resources
  Hint --->  Public Library!!!!  OR... check out your local book store.
  Save Money ---->  Use Recycled Material. 

Note:  The way I like to introduce various lessons is by using the"First/Then" tactic. 
"First, we are going to read _____, then, we are going to do __________"  Believe it or not this truly does work.  (IF and WHEN used consistently)

Lesson 1:  The Egg is on the Leaf

First:  Read!! 'Are you a Butterfly?' by:  Judy Allen

Are You a Butterfly? [Book]

~Appropriate for young readers
~Wonderful Illustrations
~Easy to Follow
~Allows the young readers to follow along with the metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a butterfly therefore, sets the child up for the next activity. 

Afterwards~ Be sure to ask questions.   

Activity 1: The Egg is on the Leaf
Materials: White Paper, Green Paint, and a Marker.

  1.  You are going to draw a Leaf  (Does not have to be perfect- a large oval with lines in it would work)
  2. On that Leaf Draw a Small Circle.
  3. Paint the Leaf green. 
  4. Once dried. Paint the circle white.
  5. Once finished write out the title 'The egg is on the leaf' along with the words 'Egg' and 'Leaf' pointing to each item. 
  6. Compare the picture with the book.
  7. Discuss the activity regarding similarities and/or differences.
Note:  If you choose to paint and/or water color I recommend using the 'crayola' brand as it stays on the paper a little longer and the colors are brighter.

Activity 2:  Playdoh Leaf
Materials:  Green and White playdoh

  1. Take a small amount of green playdoh.  Roll it.
  2. Smash the green playdoh onto a plastic plate.  Shape it into a leaf.
  3. Take a tiny amount of white playdoh.  Roll it.  Place onto the green leaf.  
          *Simple and Fun. 
          *Great for tactile and visual stimulation. 

No Playdoh on Hand?? 

Use the following Recipes:

"All by Myself Dough" ~Not-to-mention you don't have to cook anything.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/8 cup of salt
  • 3/8 cup of warm water (add more if needed)
  • food coloring if you like.  (be sure to wear gloves as this will stain)
  1.  Combine flour & salt into a medium-size bowl
  2.  Pour in the water and stir well
  3. Knead on a floured surface.
  4. Add in the desired amount of food coloring.
  5. Once finished place in a Ziploc bag.
  6. Place unused dough in the refrigerator. It will last up to a week.
Lesson 2: The Hungry Green Caterpillar

First:  Gather Prior Knowledge by asking open-ended questions such as: "What did we learn about yesterday?" By doing so, will guide you into filling in the blanks of what the child does or does not understand. 

Very Hungry CaterpillarSecond: Read!!!
I highly recommend the book: 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar by: Eric Carle'

* In my mind: This is a Must Have.
~ Visually Stimulating
~ Sparks Interests
~ Creates the Process of Thoughts and Questions within young minds.
~ Bright Colors
~Language that Flows
~A smooth read and easy to understand.

Activity 1:  Caterpillar Eating a Leaf.  
Materials:  White paper, crayons, water-colors, and a marker.


  1. Draw the desired circles for the caterpillar's body.
  2. Add a face. Include a leaf in its mouth.
  3. Once finished coloring write out the title "The Hungry Green Caterpillar" along with the words: 'Caterpillar' and 'Leaf'.
  4. Cut out.
  5. Compare your picture with the book.  Discuss.
  6. Once finished watch the clip:  The Very Hungry Caterpillar  Enjoy!!

Activity 2:  Pom-Pom Caterpillar

Materials:  Different Color Pom Poms (5-7), Tacky Glue, Wiggly Eyes, and two 1 inch pipe cleaners.

*note:  Elmers glue does not work well with this activity.

  1. Glue the pom-poms together.
  2. Glue the wiggly eyes on the first pom-pom.
  3. Glue the pipe cleaners on top of the first pom-pom.

Activity 3:  Fun with Food
Materials:  Actual Food Items from the Book 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' such as:  Strawberries, Apples, Bananas, etc.

  1. Discuss the food items regarding what they look, feel, smell, taste and yes, sound like.   *  This activity will emerge the senses as you will be using them all.
  2. Make 7 circles out the fruit. Do this with the child.
  3. Put them together in the shape of a caterpillar.
  4. Using the seeds from the strawberries make the eyes.
  5. Using the seeds from the apples make the feet.
  6. Discuss and Enjoy the snack!
Activity 4:  Paper Chain Caterpillar
Materials:  8 Strips of 1-inch construction paper (both dark and light green), stapler, wiggly eyes, 1 brown or black pipe cleaner cut in half, and a red marker.

  1. Take one end of a strip of paper and staple the ends together (as though you were making a ring.)
  2. Take another strip and put it inside the already made ring and staple the new one together.  Keep doing this until all of the strips make a chain.
  3. Draw a smile.
  4. Bend a small round circle knot on one end of the pipe cleaners. 
  5. Glue the other end to the same circle with the wiggly eyes on the top of the head. 
Another option:
  1. Cut a green oval.
  2. Draw a red mouth
  3. Glue the wiggle eyes
  4. Glue the pipe cleaners on the top
  5. Glue the green oval (head) on the first ring of the chain.

    Activity 5:Egg Carton Caterpillar
    Materials: Recycle an Egg Carton, dark or light green, black, and red paint, wiggly eyes, and 2 1-inch black pipe cleaners.

    1. Cut out 6 'Connected' egg holes.
    2. Paint the egg carton with the desired color.
    3. Let dry.
    4. Glue two wiggly eyes on the first egg hole.
    5. Paint a little nose and mouth on the first carton.
    6. Stick the pipe cleaners inside the top of the head.

    Lesson 3:  The Caterpillar Made a Cocoon
    After Gathering Prior Knowledge ~ Read!

    I Recommend:  'From a Caterpillar to a Butterfly' by:  Deborah Heiligman
    ~ Age appropriate for young minds.
    ~ Story follows through a child's eyes and thought process.
    ~ Cheerful
    ~ Colorful
    ~ Inviting to read

    Activity 1:  Making a Cocoon
    Materials:  Paper, Black marker, and crayons.

    1. Define:  Cocoon.  Make sure the definition is age appropriate such as: "A silky protective covering" , "It is like a home." or "It keeps the caterpillar safe while it turns into a butterfly.
    2. Draw a cocoon shape on a branch. (Basically an upside curvy oval)
    3. Color using the desired method. (Something different from the previous activities.)
    4. Label and Discuss.
    Activity 2:  A String Cocoon
    Materials:  White string (white dental floss will work), Popsicle stick, and a twig

    1. With your thumb hold the string onto the Popsicle stick. 
    2. Start wrapping the string around and around (leave a little string left at the end)
    3. Once finished- hang upside down on twig outside or somewhere in the house.
    4. Discuss the activity~ specifically regarding what it has to do with caterpillars. 
    Lesson 4:  Beautiful Butterfly

    Book Recommendation: 'Waiting for Wings' by: Lois Ehlert

    ~ Incredible Illustrations.
    ~ The story flows for the reader.
    ~ Stimulating for young readers and for those who appreciate art.

    Activity 1:  Sponge Paint Butterfly.
    Materials:  Sponges of a butterfly, washable paint, water, construction paper, newspaper and a child size smock.


    1. Prepare the activity in advance.  Take out the paper, paint, water, newspaper on the table and put the little one in a smock (or old shirt). 
    2. Demonstrate how to sponge paint.  Lightly press the sponge in the paint then press the sponge onto the paper.  Simple and Fun.  Use your words:  "Press" "Sponge" "Paint" "Butterflies" This will help the child develop a stronger vocabulary.  "We are making a butterfly painting."  *Don't forget your expressions and tone- also VERY important.
    Activity 2:  Tissue Paper Butterfly
    Materials:  Different color tissue paper,black construction paper, glue stick, and scissors. 

    1. Depending on the child's age have the butterflies already cut out or have the child cut it out. 
    2. Cut out the inner areas of the wings.
    3. Glue the tissue paper on the back area- so you are able to see the tissue through the opening. 
    Activity 3:  Coffee Filter Butterfly
    Materials:  Coffee filters (round ones), Clothes pins,Water-color paint, and Water.

    1. Add a little bit of water onto the coffee filter.
    2. Start painting on the same water covered coffee filter.
    3. Set to dry.
    4. Paint the clothes pin a desired color
    5. Once dried scrunch the middle area of the coffee filter into the clothes pin.
    6. Expand the Coffee filter wings.
    Activity 4:  Butterfly Blot
    Materials:  White construction paper, different color paint, and scissors.

    1. Fold the white piece of paper in half.
    2. Open the paper.
    3. Place several dots of the paint in various spots towards the center of the paper. *Only on one side.
    4. Close the paper.
    5. Start rubbing the paper both in an upward and downward motion. This will move the paint inside the paper.
    6. Once finished rubbing.  Open the paper.
    7. You should now have a Butterfly Blot.  It is up to you to either leave it or wait and cut it out.
    Activity 5:  Paper-Plate Butterfly.
    Materials:  Black marker, paper-plate, and water colors.
    1. Prepare ahead of time.  Draw a butterfly on the inward side of the plate using the black marker. ( First Body:  Tall skinny oval.  Wings:  Four large ovals both- two positioned upward and slant and two downward and slant)
    2. Water color the butterfly and then, let dry.
    3. Cut out.  Separate the wings by cutting the middle line. This will give the wings motion.

    • Review All of the Lessons.  Specifically the process of Growing into a Butterfly. 
    • Gain some insight as to what the child remembers by asking questions.
    • Have the child explain in their own words the process regarding the 'Caterpillar to Butterfly'
    • Review the Books.
    • Read the Books again. 
    • Visit a local Butterfly Garden and/or exhibit.
    • Learn the different names of butterflies.                     
    • Take a nature walk in order to see any butterflies.
    • Finally:  Read!!!!
    Book Recommendation: 
      ~ Incredible story line.
      ~ Appropriate for young readers.
       ~ Visually stimulating and
       ~ Includes several Science concepts.

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